In a game filled with offensive fireworks, two defensive plays by Rouse baseball players stood out.
Shortstop Robby Ramos-Caro made a diving snag to his right in the sixth inning and outfielder Cody Kelch got an out with an acrobatic over-the-shoulder catch as the North All-Stars dominated the South All-Stars 21-5 at the Austin Area Baseball Coaches Association All-Star game Sunday evening at Dell Diamond.
“The environment was really great,” Ramos-Caro said. “It was fun getting to know a lot of the guys around the area. I had a couple friends on this team. I’ve known most of their talent, so it’s great to be compared to them.”
Vandegrift coach Allen McGee led the South side and Justin Moore and Alex Maatz represented the Vipers on the field.
Rouse head coach Chad Kempis was in the North team dugout and pitcher Hayden Thomas joined Kelch and Ramos-Caro as the Raiders’ representatives. Leander had infielder Joel Rios and pitcher Mason Montgomery suit up, Vista Ridge catcher Brady Nevit also played for the North.
“It’s really fun because everybody is really good and really talented,” Nevit said. “When it comes together we got really far. It was like a rally and everybody keeps hitting and tacking runs on. The energy kept going every time we scored.”
Every Leander ISD participant contributed to the game.
Moore sent a deep fly ball to left field that almost got out of the park and Maatz pitched one scoreless inning for the South team and was named the best pitcher on the team postgame.
Rios finished with two hits and scored a run, while Montgomery closed out the game for the North team, allowing a couple runs.
Nevit had one hit and one walk and stole a base.
Thomas — who will return to Dell Diamond on Sunday for the THSBCA All-Star Game — pitched one scoreless inning. On top of their stellar defensive plays, Ramos-Caro had two hits and Kelch scored a run.
Some players in the game, like Ramos-Caro, will be playing in college next season. Other, like Nevit, won’t be continuing baseball at the next level.
Either way, Sunday’s exhibition was a chance for the best in the area to suit up with their friends one more time.
“It feels good to be noticed for all the hard work for all the hard work over the years,” Ramos-Caro said. “I’ve been playing with some of the guys on Rouse since were seven-year-olds, so it was great.”